United States

Gingrich Wins South Carolina


Newt Gingrich has won the South Carolina primary, throwing the whole Republican contest into a prolonged campaign.

A week ago Mitt Romney appeared to be the favourite to seal the Republican nomination by the end of January. A late surge by Newt Gingrich after a strong performance at a televised debate has thrown those plans awry.

Newt Gingrich took 40.45% of the ballots cast with just 13 of the 2129 precincts still to report. Mitt Romney came second with 27.83%.

Rick Santorum, who won the first contest of the race in Iowa managed just 16.98%. He has vowed to go on but, with few funds and little traction in the last two contests, his days as a presidential hopeful look numbered.

Ron Paul is playing the long game, going for states where he can pick up batches of delegates. He took just 12.97% in South Carolina.

Turnout was 21.5%, with 603,014 ballots cast from the 2,804,231 registered voters.

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